With Ryadok’s demise, Epthelion should have enjoyed lasting peace and Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel should have remained a stand-alone book. That was my intention, at least, but readers did not agree. Evil never dies, they told me, and neither did the malignant serpent who embodied it. So–what happens next? There must be a sequel.
I had to agree. The scene that started it all, unused in Warrior Queen, remained fresh in my mind. The unhappy maiden staring into the sunset had a story yet untold. The serpent’s return, the growing unrest within the Dark Land, and this young woman’s hopes and dreams amid her shattered reality joined forces to produce A Dark Moon Rises.
In this time period, arranged marriages were the norm. The war had claimed many lives, leaving few prospects for the widows and young maidens left desolate in its wake. When Sam Shaw, a well-to-do Garris butcher asked newly-widowed Sarah Greene for her daughter’s hand in marriage, Sarah readily agreed, knowing the union would insure that neither she nor her daughter hungered. She did not consider that daughter Melinda was only nineteen, while Shaw was nearly sixty. (And yes, he wanted Melinda–not Sarah!)
Unwilling to endure such an arrangement, Melinda fled to Teptiel, a fledgling colony to the north, and to her joy met and married a handsome, prominent farmer named Eldor Rand. Teptiel, however, harbored dark secrets. So did Eldor Rand, and Melinda soon found her nightmare just beginning. The serpent returned, drawing many to himself as he hunted Arris Marchant, the Arganian mystic who had left him stunned and crippled after slaying Ryadok.
As the serpent’s discipleship grew, Teptiel’s most honorable citizens became treacherous. Who could one trust? Could any hope rise from the ashes of the devil’s fires?
Find out here!
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